Mark: Whose Son Is the Messiah?

Read: Mark 12:35-37

Here’s a short passage that easily slips by on the Bible-in-a-year reading plan. I wonder if there are nuggets of wisdom for us to gain by slowing down and pondering why John Mark (along with Matthew 22:41-46 and Luke 20:41-44) chose this seemingly simple lesson to include among many taught in Jerusalem during Jesus’s last days on earth.

Jesus is teaching in the temple courts and poses a question that must have stopped everyone in their tracks:

David himself calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”
The large crowd listened to him with delight. Mark 12:37

This is more like a riddle than a question. I imagine people wandering around testing each other with the answer, though only a few understood the significance of the One who was asking.

Matthew’s account adds an interesting detail:

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?”
“The son of David,” they replied. Matthew 22:41-42

The Pharisees, along with many others (most likely), have to wonder why Jesus would pose such a riddle. Surely there are other lessons to teach. We’re stuck without a lot of details except to suggest that this

was to show that the Messiah was more than a descendant of David—he was David’s Lord. NIV Study Bible Notes


In the coming days, the tests will become harder, more complicated, and the Pharisees will ultimately fail miserably. It seems to me that Jesus is giving them a hint before their exam, all but declaring: I Am the Messiah! Read your scrolls!

The Pharisees are much too busy to see the significance. We know from our perspective that they, with few exceptions, miss the connection of Jesus as the long expectant savior, the one we get to sing about over the course of the next few weeks.

In this season of Advent, may we lose ourselves in the thought that Jesus is the fulfillment of hope for all generations, past, present, and future.

Lord, help us not to miss the point: Jesus is our redeemer.

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Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.

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